You record your podcast. You post it up, share it out to ALL of the social media sites that your audience is enjoying. Are they listening to your show? Are they listening how far along are they listening? How can I tell how many are listening?
Analytic and Statistical tools
Stats are a podcasters endearing frustration. We all look at them while some obsess and others just obsess at a lesser degree. And we should obsess about our podcast performance. Now to what level can be debated and we wont do that here.
What tools to many podcasters use to find out about their audience numbers? There are many and the common ones
The first tool is something all websites need to have in their arsenal. This can be Google Analytics or StatCounter this will let you know that there are people actually going to your web site and getting information. If you’re not getting any hits after the first month of opening the doors this will let you know that there is a problem you need to look into.
Also web Stat programs are good informing you of what your audience is wanting to know more about. If you look at the what your landing pages are, and combine that with the few keywords Google lets through, you can see what information the people coming to your site are after.
Now your WEB hosts stat program not quite the best because they show everything. Every little impression whether it is a spider crawling your site or a bot stuck in a loop. You can get many false bits of information. Good if you want an ego boost, bad if you want to help your audience.
Blubrry & Libsyn stats
There are several Podcast stat companies out there and there are more cropping up, but there are a few that are trusted in the community. Media hosting companies are pretty good in general but BluBrry and Libsyn both pride themselves in making sure to filter out the nonsense that can at times be generated because of bots and shady practices. Blubrry general stats are free but if you want to dig deep they are 5 dollars a month if you do not have hosting with them
Libsyn’s stats are for those podcasts that host with them, and are equally good.
Podtrac has positioned themselves as a podcast advertising firm but they have long been known for the free stats you are able to get through them. Compared to blubrry and libsyn their stats are good.
Feedburner was a blogging tool for people to be able to sort of track the people who subscribed to their RSS feed. The statistics it gives is there. I wouldn’t trust the numbers Feedburner says but as an RSS redirect I couldn’t recommend a better service.
Stitcher is a Podcast directory and Podcast player. This gives them a unique angle of being able to let you know not only when people listen to your show but you are also able to see how long they listen and where they dropped off in relation to the whole show.
Are they listening to your show?
Sweet, now you know about some of the services how do you tell if they are listening to your show? The easiest is to look at your Media hosts stats that are provided. This will show you that your show’s episodes are being downloaded. Yet these are not listens, and there is a difference between downloads and listens.
Downloads are the event of a mp3 file being downloaded. A listen is the act of a person consuming your content. Podcasters often want to use the downloads stats for advertisers and often with the easily obtained large download numbers, advertisers will think that the show is popular. Yet though there can be a large download number through different practices like Twitter Bombing, you can have very small number of listeners. So you want to look for the harder to find listens.
Other events that will trigger a download is Flash plugins, Autoplays, and bots. Flash auto loads the file to be ready if your listener presses play. Autoplays are an annoying way of getting download but because of the annoyance the vast majority of people instantly stop the player and though it registers as a download that person didn’t listen to the show. Then there are bots that request the file and will be triggered as a download, but I have yet have a bot buy anything from me.
Finding the elusive listener can be a little bit like being a Private Eye in that you are looking through your data over time. There are a few items that you want to look for in your stats the big list you want to employ is clients. When you go to your stats page there needs to be a clients list if you are not able to find it or your host doesn’t keep that stat. Then look to Blubrry’s Statistic service* it is only $5 and will give you all you will possibly need. Bluburry you are able to get a list of clients. This list of clients is will show you all the iTunes downloads, the Podcasts app downloads, the Pocket casts downloads, Zune, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and any other players that is available.
How I find my listeners is, I take all of these clients for a month and add them together minus the browsers and other clients that are not actual podcast players. Then average those out for four weeks. This will give me a rough idea of how many people are actually listening to the show. Then keep track of that number from month to month will give you a good idea as to if your listeners are increasing.
Why do I take the browsers out? I remove them because those are often bots hitting your site. Agreed there are actual listeners going to the site listening through the players I have on my site. But I feel those people are few and often they are just people sampling the show to see if it is worth them downloading. My actual browser listeners have a special place and they let me know they are listening by commenting on the site.
So are they listening to the whole show?
This is very difficult to show how far people have listened to a show. The best way to tell is to use Stitcher. This service is free to add your show and they give some useful stats for help to understand where your listeners are dropping off, and it will be just those people that listen to your show through stitcher not all of your listeners. So it will not give you a full idea of how people are listening to the show, but it will give you an idea.
So finding your listeners is possible in a way but getting that number is just part of the solution. Never put numbers over names getting to know who your audience is and what they do and how they use your information is the absolutely best way to find out who your listeners are. Also, when you put names over numbers you will cement you audience and help turn them into fans, and that is what we really want.
Feedburner is an RSS feed redirector, and rose to popularity as blogging starting becoming popular. Feedburner was a way for people with blogs to get stats on who was reading their posts through a new web service called RSS, or Rich Site Summary. Since with RSS, people were not actually going to the site they are just looking through a news reader or aggregator, Bloggers turned to a service like FeedBurner. Feed Burner would then let bloggers know how many people each day read their posts and get a rough idea as to how many people were subscribed to their blog’s RSS feed.
From There Google bought Feedburner in 2007 and added podcasting tags to the line up and the service started being used by podcasters to find out how many listeners the podcast hosts could possibly have and what countries was it most popular in. The service was good for podcasters because one they didn’t have to find a way to enter the needed iTunes tags into their RSS stream before Pod press and Power Press came onto the scene. Feedburner would do that automagicly and all you did was direct your RSS feed to Feedburner and it would give you a new RSS feed that you would share with the world.
What are uses for Feedburner
These days Feedburner is still used by bloggers and many podcasters. Not just new guys but good deal of the original podcasters use Feedburner for a clue as to how their shows fair and for the ability to change their feed url without loosing their audience. Which Feedburner is a good service to utilize if you are using a free service like WordPress.org, Blogger, tumblr, or some other blogging platform.
Feedburner is commonly used for blogging and podcasting subscription stats. A podcaster can find out from what countries people are listening. If you use a free platform Feedburner allows you to put in the iTunes RSS tags needed for your show to be in iTunes. What Rss Client your listeners are using allows you to customize the feed with some extra tags like geo tags or making your feed readable in a browser. You can edit the description of feed. There are lots of customizing options you can do inside of feedburner
That is all great so why is it not recommended that podcasters use Feedburner if it does all that and more? The answer to that is Google. Now, yes Google does provide great services and then they also use to provide great services but recently they have started closing many different popular services that were not making any money. With Google being a company that is their primary objective, but none the less Google has grabbed peoples attention by closing some very popular services. The big one that happened with in the year is Google reader. This was Google solution to the RSS aggregators. When Google started up the Reader service it killed, and some would argue all, the RSS reader programs that were available to download. Many adjusted by just tying onto Google reader and let Google do all the heavy lifting. Then in 2013 there was a shock through the Podcasting community because the main way most bloggers and podcasters got their news for their specific niche was through Google reader. This was very sudden and out of the blue.
This got people to look for why and the reason were also lining up with Feedburner. It hasn’t been updated in a while. many of the support services have been close Feedburner Japan lost its domain, and listening to a particular camp Google was going to shut Feedburner down in a couple of months . Well At the time of this release Feedburner is still up and running. Will it close? Possible it really is not making any money for Google, but I would argue a that close to half if not more of the blogging community still is tied to feedburner for subscription stats. Yet, Google did enable there to be permanent redirects for you feedburner feed. Which means they may be closing it soon. Maybe…
Should podcasters use FeedBurner?
That depends, are you going the free route?If so then yes because you might have to change your RSS feed a few times if you decide to invest in your show by purchasing a domain or you change platforms. If you have your own domain and you want maybe a little different view of your subscribers then ok know that there is an out if they do close the doors.
But personally I would not recommend it.because it is just to unknown why deal with the uncertainty of a service you really do not need. There are podcasting stats that will give you more information about your listeners, and a few are free or cost very little. For tagging your feed Blubrry’ s PowerPress has everything covered. The only thing Feedburner is really good for now a days is the RSS redirect, and if you have the other items you really don’t need the redirect.
What to do if you are using feedburner and you want to get out?
Close the Account and this will create a redirect to your real RSS feed. Yet, this will only work for those checking the site so iTunes should update their feed but what if you have listeners who use a different podcaster? This is the argument for having a mailing list. SO that if something happens then you can help your podcast listeners out by telling them that your feed address has changed and they need to update that feed.
Also you want to set up the iTunes redirect in Powerpress just as a Cover your Tail move Since most of your listeners come from the iTunes Directory. In the Admin section of your WordPress Site go to PowerPress and choose the Settings, and in Setting chose the iTunes Tab here you will see
“Set iTunes New Feed URL”
Here you will get a big scary warning. Now this warning should be heard and fully understood. cause if you do mess up you will basically loose all of your audience. After accepting the warning you will have a space you can enter your Feed URL which it should be
If you are not sure what your feed is then go to the feed tab and you will see your special podcast only feed and copy the url and paste it into the iTunes New Feed URL. Save and you are pretty much set after you let your listeners know and I would also as another level of cover the ol’ posterior by making a blog post too, that way if you have someone who doesn’t read emails wills till be able to get the information.
Tip of the Week
If you are starting a podcast and you are wanting to know how many people are “listening” Use Blubrry if you are using a media host other than Libsyn you get your basic information for free and if you want deeper details then it is only $5 a month. If you have some type of aversion to BluBrry then you can also use Podtrac though I don’t feel their information is as detailed as Blubrry.
More celebrities getting into podcasting Ice T is starting a show called Ice-T: Final Level Ice T Is producing a bi-Monthly show with a friend of his. He will be doing what celebrities can do and talk in general formats, or not have a show about hip-hop it will be a show about News Stories, Video Games, Politics and other generalities.